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In order to get a selection published in this issue, four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the 

award winners, only John Stobazt is responsible. 

Manuscripts or cover designs for 

wordeater OV 

must be submitted to John Stobart 
in room C-1069 by : 

OCTOBER 20, 1989 

Manuscripts will not be returned and 


All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials may not be reprinted without their permission. 

Kris Ballmer 

Bob Loewe 

Muii Mellinger 

Anna Danbary 

Maha Mellinger 

Bob Loewe 

Elise Wylie Boucher 

Elise Wylie Boucher 

Judy Belfield 

Kim Vollmer 

Kim Vollmer 

Kim Vollmer 

John Schmitz 

Bob Loewe 

Lynn Manypenny 

Kim Vollmer 

Maha Melliger 

Jerald Janes 

Bob Loewe 

Elise Wylie Boucher 

Kim Vollmer 

Maria Mellinger 

Maria Mellinger 

Kim Vollmer 
Judy Belfield 
Elise Wylie Boucher 
Amy Jo 

.Maria Mellinger 
Mary Klein 
Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 
Bob Loewe 
Amy Jo 
Judy Belfield 
Jerald Janes 
Jerald Janes 
Amy Jo 
Jerald Janes 
Melynda Findlay 
Bob Loewe 
Bob Loewe 
Kris Bullmer 
Bob Loewe 
Kim Vollmer 
Elise Wylie Boucher 
Bob Loewe 
Amy Jo 
Blake Axelson 
Bob Loewe 
Maria Mellinger 
Paul Pritchea 
Kim Vollmer 
Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 

Maria Mellinger 
Elise Wylie Boucher 
Jerald Janes 
Amy Jo 

Elise Wylie Boucher 
jerry janes 
Maria Mellinger 

Elise Wylie Boucher 

Once Upon A lime 

Darkening Feathers 

Toxic Cow 

Fresh Sweet Smell 


Curio 2 

DejaVu 2 

Witness 2 

Over and Again 2 

Always With My Foot In the Door 3 

Afternoon Trip Taken Into Conscious 3 

Victim of Over-Analyzation 4 

Foolish Thoughts 4 

Paranoia 4 

Silent, Upon My Chest 4 

Coup D'Etat of the Mind 5 

Pringle Philosophy 5 

Whyl-Am? 5 

The Troth Is... 5 

I Said 5 

I Would Rather Stare 6 

Woolen Boredom 6 

Strength To Hold 6 

Confidence 6 

Joie De Vivre: On Pachelbel's Canon 6 

The Deal 7 

Even On A Clock 7 

Time Is Sparing 7 

Shock Value 7 

Five Friendly Aliens 7 

Worlds 8 

Beach 8 

Ivory Tower 8 

When the World Dreams 8 

Europe Is Insane 9 

Gold In the Attic 9 

The Wisconsin Sun 9 

26th & Pulaski 10 

Crumpets 11 

To Grandma 11 

Maternal Instincts 1 1 

What Adulis Don't See 12 

For My Friend 12 

Youth 12 

Returning Through Ohio 13 

Three Girls Went Walking 13 

Path 13 

Downey In '92 13 

Mediocre People 13 

Startling Ice Water 14 

Noah's Wooden Yacht 14 

Firefighter 14 

Fred's Flat 14 

The Alienation of Deaf Ted 

and Danoota 16 

Little Prince 16 

Prithee, Return.. . 1 6 

Dr. Joseph Campbell 16 

Permission 17 

When 17 

You Can Try 17 

If 17 
There's An Unforgettable 

Communication 17 

To Win My Love 18 

Cable oF conhanb 

Kim Vollmer 



Elise Wylie Boucher 

Nocturnal Song 





Jerald Janes 

A Casual Comment 


John Schmitz 

Undercover Plowman 


Elise Wylie Boucher 



Anna Danbury 



Kim Vollmer 



Kim Vollmer 

Honey-Colored Little Bodies 



Night Companions 


Anna Danbury 

Vinyl Playground 


Maria Mellinger , 

She Warns Miracles 


John Schmitz 

A Nothing Love 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

Requiem For Love 


Maria Mellinger 

What A Fashion To Be Alone 


Kim Vollmer 

Lonely Grows This Flower 


Jerald Janes 

Rain On the Window 


Judy Belfield 



Elise Wylie Boucher 

There Are No Windows 


John Schmitz 

The Shadows Flee From Graceland 


Anna Danbury 

Shadows Play 


Maria Mellinger 

The Day Was Overcast 


Maria Mellinger 

The Night My Poems CameTo Life 





Amy Jo 




A Bad But Necessary Poem 



After All of This 


Maria Mellinger 

The Paperback Copy 



The Plot 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

Oh Pen, Sing My Heart 


Kim Vollmer 

Writer's Lament 


David J. Sklowdowski 



Maria Mellinger 

This Is the Song of My Downfall 


Judy Belfield 



Maria Mellinger 



Maria Mellinger 



Elise Wylie Boucher 



Kris Bullmer 

Unexpected Suicide? 


Nels Nelson 

A Bomb 


Maria Mellinger 

Cud Yourself Into A Ball 


Nels Nelson 




Does It Matter 


Amy Jo 

My Life For Yon 


Nels Nelson 



Nels Nelson 

What Is the Long-Term Effect? 


Kim Vollmer 



Maria Mellinger 



Jerald Janes 



John Schmitz 

A Wake 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

Light Is Fading 


Amy Jo 

The End 




You came home one day 

and with love in your eyes 

(yes, I saw it~though you'd deny it) 

told me you wanted out. 

Before long you were gone, 

married to her. 

Divorce is like death 

except one never buries the corpse. 


Bob Loewe 

I once dreamed of dragons 

winging gracefully through the sky, 

enough mass to carry off an elephant, 

eating a herd of cattle for lunch, 

not bothering to stop for petty nuisances 

like minor knights or poor princesses. 

The world's greatest knight 

was just a fair fight 

for a perfecdy average dragon. 

Dragons don't eat asparagus 

or get their hair cut. 

Dragons don't pay taxes 

or work dead-end jobs. " 

They don't mow lawns 

or get stuck in traffic jams. 

If their steak isn't done enough, 

they breathe on it 

I dreamed of dragons 

when I was half my age. 

Ten-year-olds have active imaginations. 

Twenty-year-olds live in the real world. 

Yet when I explore my imagination 

I roll back a stone 

exposing a cave mouth, 

and I am accosted by a fury of dragons. 


Maria Mellinger 

Darkening feathers, 
Blood filled B. B. holes... 
(The bird's eyes didn't close 
When it died...) 
My little brother 
Became a man today 




"Hey diddle diddle, 
the cat and the fiddle, 

the cow jumped over the moon." 

We all know now, that same old cow, 
could outglow that same old moon. 
'Cause he's sittin' all day grazin', 
on all of that toxic hay. 

Cows lookin* all bloated, just been demoted, 
by that warning toting C. Everette Coop. 
'Cause he's sittin', all day thinkin', 
that none of us eats the right way. 

And so he'll fight, til we all eat right. 
Fish is leaner, veggies are greener. 
But they're sittin', all day rottin', 
and they don't make cancer go away. 

He just can't see, fish don't swim free, 
they're all bogged down by hospital waste. 
So they're sittin', right on the bottom, 
why do the fish have to pay? 

He says quit smokin', we all keep chokin', 
on black filth from the trucks' tall stacks. 
And our house is sittin', right on radon. 
So C. Everette, what's the warning for today? 


Maria Mellinger 


Fresh sweet smell 

Touch of wool on knitting needles 

A soap opera crying in the background; 

Memories of a mother 

And a summer 

That ended too soon. 


Bob Loewe 


What is a nose? 
A face decoration? 
The front of an airplane? 
A characteristic of cognac? 
Or fine wines? 


A Nose is a Nose, continued 

A small amount? 

"Beat by a nose." 


You must have been miserable, 

A giant undefined thing 

Hung from your face. 

Or did you care? 

A nose by any other name 

Would smell as sweet 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

She is spectacularly insulated 
By her dreams 

Heavy Brass Unicorns upon 
Fragile Glass Shelves 

Tended lovingly 

she touches a horn and 
Wishes herself away 

To a seashore of storms 
And passionate princes 
Dying for love 

What living man can match that? 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

It caught me unaware 
A haunting melody 
Sad voice sang of 

A broken heart's creation 

(And I recalled your smile 

As you tried to teach me to two-step 

Silly, citified girl I was 
Laughing as I stumbled along 
Unable to match your country grace) 

I stood alone-islanded 
Staring at the stereo speaker 
Not noticing the tears turning to ice 
In the winter wind. 



One evening's blue stomach 

stabbed by night 

bled black; the black spread 

dark, sticky 

oozing ever further 

across the skin, 

tight skin throbbing 

as the heart slowed 

every beat more violent 

each more distanced from the last 

till, finally, no more 

and then a stillness undisturbed. 

As it happened 

we stood watching 

amazed by the speed of death 

our voices paralyzed, choked. 

Shock froze our eyes open 

the pupils forever imprinted 

with the cold memory. 

Years later 

when we think of it— 

if we are able 

we hide the facts in metaphors 

smile through a grimace 

as a deep dull punch 

is felt in the groin— 

a neverending guilt 

for the neverending silence. 


Kim Vollmer 

hot on my back 
covers at my" throat 
the blanket, electric 
is sweating upon my sleep 
t-shirt melting to my skin 
I would toss if the air weren't 
so heavy upon me 
I roll up on my side 
to move away from myself 
yet I come closer 
the dream becomes more visual 
more bold. 
a face 

of a teacher 
I know already who she is 



Kim Vollmer 

Over and Again, continued 

I don't focus on her face 

it's of no value 

her words are the ticking 

of the clock in the kitchen 

so tiny growing louder as 

the house falls asleep 

over and again 

"and what else?" 

she is saying 

she questions me 

she wants more of an answer 

than I am initially allowing 

for her to understand 

I tell her what I think she wants to hear 

"and what else?" 

so I make something up 

"and what else?" 

I begin listing the circumstances 

I am to face in the near future 

"and what else?" 

I yell my fears at her 

yet there is no volume 

to my voice 

I feel angry and exposed 

but satisfied that she will be quiet 

"and what else?** 

her voice becomes mine 

and I startled myself awake 

in panic 

I whisper an answer that hollow 

and loud inside of my head 

small lines of light 

come through my window blinds 

one next to another 

over and again 

out loud I repeat my answer 

for myself 

for God to understand me 


I am cold sitting up 

the fading dream holds all my heat 

all of my energy 

I force my answer 

I make myself listen 

"I miss John" 

over and again. 


always with my foot in the door 
putting a dent in my hand-me-down boot, 
I long to turn, leave once more 
I fear my feet to take root. 

if I move from this place I'll forget where I was 
or the bastards just might lock me out; 
if I stand too long fear will take me because 
I tend to cling to or run from whenever in doubt 

give me a moment, just one second more 
my mind a clutter of oh-so-much wit 
give me a brick to prop open the door 
so I can figure out it it's worth all this shit. 


Kim Vollmer 


I was in the attic of my dream when you called to 
me, hidden under comfort, holding a warm bear solid at 
my chest Digging and digging through boxes marked 
Past and Tomorrow, I was trying to hold on to a lesson 
learned. I had to remind myself of pain. Pain I'd taken 
and dragged along behind me until it was weightless like 
memory string tied to bony, cramped fingers. In Tomor- 
row, I found a secret I was sure to forget upon waking, 
yet I carried it in hopes to. hold myself in smiling 's 

I was in the attic of my dream when you called to 
me, safe behind my bear, with a cool hand I held under 
my jaw extending to my neck as not to expose it or let 
the heat leave me. The attic is the steepest climb. It 
had taken me many nights of exhausted surrender to get 
there and I had to journey back down so far and so long a 
path to answer you when you called to me. 

Through the house of opposites, where left is right 
and right seems wrong, to a door that opens out to the 
inside world— with no hinges, no frame, a door it was 
not— just my idea of a door that was locked and forbidden 
until I reached it and then it seemed never to exist at all.. 

On a path that neither goes forward nor back 1 
walked though my legs were tight from running. 1 was 
sure that this calling was inside my dream yet I made a 
desperate run to an edge, any edge will do, of steep and 
saw you through a window-too high up to jump and 
break the spell-the spell wont' break-and I wouldn't 
come back at all except that this is where you are-and 
"dinner's on the table." 

John Schmitz 


That an advertisement: 

"Sadism and the Moral Argument For God's Existence" 

And a note: 

"I'm going to be good to my brother, Nathan" 

Could find themselves in the same room-cleaning. 

Fate, perhaps? Maybe leftover fate that willed 

This strange rendezvous. 

No thunder and lightning to announce their way, 

Something much more subtle, sublime. 

I know one day. Sheila, Nathan's sister, and sadism will die. 

Along with our personal pictures of God- 

"Calm down," says the doctor. 

"I cannot be calm!" 

(I will NOT be calm.) 



Is a fool really a fool? 

Court jesters were usually paunchy 

While others starved. 

People don't watch fools, 

Don't know what they do. 

Fools do what fools wish 

And fools fool fools often. 

Who's the real fool- 

The fool 

Or the fool who ignores him 

And is fooled? 

Who's more foolish? 

Fools always ask, 

"Was that really a fool 

Or was I fooled?" 

You'll often feel foolish. 

Fools seldom do. 




to eat of blood and fire 
to pierce the softened stone 
to live among the demons 
once buried with a rose 

to feel the thickening flame 
to scorch and sweat upon the snow 
to run wild, free from chains 
once buried with a rose 


Lynn Manypenny 

Writing Huh! 

What about? 

Of livestock? 


Writer's block??? 

Oh, I know 


You know, that free-for-all, be 

anyone, do anything, 

What the attitude. 

Noisy 60s music orgies, drugs 

Losing it & using it 


Free lovin' 

Janis Joplin's voice 

Screeching like fingernails on a 


Dog-N-Suds drive-ins 

inhaling the wieners 
Pounding of tom-toms 

Blasting of eardrums 


Janis Joplins 

Bob Dylans 

Jimi Hendrix 

The Who 


Wild guitars 


French fries 

Fried minds 

Wild rimes 

High crimes 

People losing it, cruising it 

Then it is Don McLain's 

"American Pie" 

Do you know what that song's 

getting at? 


to never feel sorrow 
to never feel again 
so now I close my eyes 
the night's my only friend 

for I am now a demon 
the bricks will meet and close 
silent, upon my chest 
you shall find the rose. 

Bob Loewe 

Maria Mellinger 

Radical thoughts 
Rebellious music 
Revolutionary books 
Sarcastic poetry 


Jerald Janes 


The tall can seemed to say 

eat me. 

Brains floating in Vodka 

i reached out 

With a tug, the air rushed 


One pringle. 

Two pringle. 

The potato drug solicited 

my obsession. 

Traveling thru the can, I 

approached bottom. 

Fifty eight pringle. 

Fifty nine pringle. 

I am satisfied. 

The remains spill out onto the 

car seat, 

A single chip anticipates 

its consumption. 

But I do not desire you, for 

you have been shunned. 

Your pringle contemporaries 

crushed you. 

Fatefully, you were born 


Your handicapppppppppringle remains 

your form. 

You did not fit in to the intended shape of each other 


Your individuality created 


The weight of the others authored 

your demise. 

Have you been reading those books? 



Why is iamb 

Pronounced i'amb' 

Instead of i-amb' 


Measures tro-cha'-ic. 

Trochee is a trochee- 

Not troche unless ill. 

Dactyllic should be 

Dac'tyl-ic, not 


Dak'tyl feet are trochaic; 

Duk'tyl feet are webbed. 

A foot is twelve inches, 

A meter over forty. 


Perhaps trochee is onomatophonetic 

And iamb is poetic. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


I can't promise you 
Happy Ever After 

But, if we try, 

We can make 
Enough Joy 

To last through 
Our inevitable wars. 


Kim Vollmer 

I said 

"I love you- 
then there was this act 
a pulling apart 

a scream of a tearing away from 
every single thing 
is an isolated separateness— 
did I say "I love you"? 
I meant that I love the space 
between us. 



Maria Mellinger 


I would rather stare 

Into the flame of a candle 

Than study the troubles of man. 

Fire takes me back, 

Draws me into the spirit 

Of cool caveman days, 

When you and I could look at a moon 

Never trespassed, 

An ocean never sailed, 

A world never proven spherical. 

Fire is not analytical 






Maria Mellinger 


Woolen boredom 

Settle about her throat 

Like a thick turtleneck sweater. 

Senility beads 

In acrylic polyester blend balls 

Which fall to the floor 

Like sediment in a littered canal. 

While a washing machine rinse cycle 

Removes the stain of her existence. 


Kim Vollmer • 


my arms ache of strength to hold you 

all day you are heavy before me 

like a strong blowing wind 

pressing and pressing you steady against me 

I struggle through the day 

smiling into your face 

to myself. 




A cold sky told me 

I had power, 

stood me up tall as a redwood 

in silhouette against its 

hard blue backdrop 

and every step I took 

bounced, and was rooted, 

at the same time. 

I was giant 

big as god 

listening to whispers 

kings must hear in their cradles 

before they know 

a mother's song. 

One day 

in late winter 

as the afternoon sun fades 

I'll hear it 

as loud as Wellington's cannonade 

as soft as dusk 

all at once. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


Like a leaf 

I Float 

Upon the air 

That changes with each note 

Graceful Sway 

And spin 

And, Lighthearted, 

I am Elation. 

Even after the music ends 
And I have returned 
From the ethereal plane 
That claimed my soul 
(The place where 
I danced with 

My face is still 
A Study in Rapture. 



Amy Jo 


I looked to the future, and found die past, 
caught a glimpse of horns, and withered scales, 
had a vision of death, a deception of death, 
and this endless dream began at long last 
to move me, and I saw that love will prevail, 
but the fire had found me; its wicked stealth, 
creeping forth, consumed me, and an iron cast 
of the goat appeared in my mind; its entrails 
glowing red in the heat, and the wealth 
of life, these blossoms of truth, held fast 
in my hand— I stood amazed to see how frail 
these images were, and then drew my last breath. 

Maria Mellinger 


Even on a clock 
With no hands 
Time shall pass. 


Mary Klein 

Time is sparing 

Yet there's so much 

to eat. 


Kim Vollmer 


the past frames 

mirrored colors of us 

and my 

eyes watch one color 

faded and insignificant 

once coupled with those of opposition 

each color then becomes bold 

and thick 

and I wonder 

how I'd tell them apart otherwise. 


Maria Mellinger 

It all started in my bed, as usual. I had a 
frightening evening because I accidentally dyed a small 
patch of my forehead while touching up my roots. 
Theodora had an accident, too, and now sported 
multicolored fuzzy ears. I explained that all the teddy 
bears in Paris wore their fur that way, and being a 
fashionable teddy bear, she smiled. But we'd had enough 
excitement for the night, so I put on my Danny Wilson 
cassette and tried to sleep. 

In my mind I saw a 1973 Capri wrapped in tin 
foil driving down the street the inside was wrapped in 
tin foil as well, except for the ashtray with a "Keep on 
Truckin'" sticker and several complimentary Magna 
cigarettes stubbed out inside. Assuming it was another 
dream, I paid little attention when five aliens emerged, 
entered my house, picked up my bed, and complained 
about its weight. 

"Don't call me heavy," I said, and it was then I 
realized I was actually speaking. 

The next thing I knew, I was inside a space ship 
quite similar to the kind used in Japanese movies. I 
wondered if we were being moved through space on a 
huge fishing line that God himself was reeling in. There 
was no time between my spoken comment and the 
flying comets. It was as if Theodora and I were part of a 
fast-paced music video where transitional devices aren't 

We were way up in space when I happened to 
look down and see all the people I hated dredging the I 
and M Canal in search of my body. They seemed upset, 
but it was probably because I left behind nasty poems 
and journal entries about them, and they feared these 
works might be published in my memory. The aliens, 
Theodora, and I laughed. 

The few people I liked on earth seemed to realize 
I was in a much better place now. The nuns I worked 
for, in particular, went on and on about an eternal 
reward, and what a delight it was that I could get it 
(which means, of course, that anyone, could get it). 
Theodora's friends held a beautiful service where TJk 
House at Pooh Corner was read aloud 

When the ship landed on the alien's planet, we 
instantly felt at home. It was no trailmafordian paradise, 
but there was the mandatory glass dome and a big brown 
bag of money in the zoo (what a thing to do). 

Theodora was a big hit with her two-tone ears, 


Five Friendly Aliens, continued 

Judy Belfield 

and we used our paychecks to invest in Miss Clairol. 
"And take me to a place, 
Way up in space 
Where I'm unusual. 
I'll be where I won't feel alien..." 

-"Five Friendly Aliens" 

-Danny Wilson 


Bob Loewe 


I remember where I met you— 

in a world of strong beer, 


and jobs done good, 

where friends are 

and have been 

forever the same. 

My world has changed 

to a place where people 

take showers before work 

and tee-shirts are uncommon. 

New friends live there, 

and rivals to challenge 

without bruising my knuckles. 

Will you come along 

to my other world? 

The new and old words . 

spin in different directions. 

If I keep one foot in each, 

I'll split down the center 

and you will love half a man 

while the other half 

lives half a life 

and does half a job 

as the result 

I chose my new world. 

Will you come along 

or stay where you are? 

I wish you would change your mind. 

Amy Jo 


nuclear bombs and atomic waste ' 

President Bush in outer space 

the monkey lies, the monkey screams 

from L.A. hookers to the First Lady 

on the beach in perfect shape 

suntanned bodies of the human race 

glance at death and smile sweedy 

at their ostrich reflections, albeit so ugly. 



She lets her hair down 
he climbs up ' 
they both get down 
get off. 
He leaves 

she pulls her hair back in 
stares at 
those four walls 
or soap operas on TV 
waits for the witch/mother to call 
bring grub 
and the new Cosmo. 
Sometimes she closes the blinds 
forgets the time 
sings out to the hag, 
"Not tonight- 
guess what I've got." 


Jerald Janes 


The supremist dreams of rainbows 

each color drowned out by the brilliance of white. 

The Utopian dreams of rainbows 

each color overlooked due to his color blindness. 

The suicide dreams of a path leading to happiness 
he travels this path well, for he fears its dangers. 

The humanist dreams of a path leading to happiness 
he travels this path well, for he has many companions 
along the way. 

The elitist dreams of a sinking ship at sea, he feels it 

to save the ship and does, thankful for his noble 


The armchair philosopher dreams of a ship at sea, he is 
sinking and is saved by the ship, he is thankful for the ship. 

The fashionable dreams of mass migrations of people, he 
is accepted into the movement 

The strange one dreams of mass migrations of people, he 
does not understand the migratory destination. 

The world turns downside up. 

All that dream, awaken-it is morning. 


Jerald Janes 


Saw a bat tonight Big deal itself. Swoops down under 
street light under tree-edge of front lawn. No sound, just 
bizarre acrobatics say, "I am not a bird." 

I smoke cigarettes outside, the pack cost my last 
dollar. Somewhere in a pile of clothes is loose change 
unknown to me. Maybe another pack of cigarettes' 

That continent is very far, very far from me, 
tonight I crave it so very much more, very much more, 

Emotional health has a tendency to deteriorate to 
the point where one loses all essential touch with 

Some respected leaders say, "Insane." I feel very 
comfortable and at home within the confines of my shut 
down mind.. .there resides the ability to exist as one's 
own determination sees fit critique and analysis becomes 
folly in the folly. 

THEORY: the spirit becomes too hungry for 
meaning and truth. It then will leave the body alone out 
of respect for it instead of destroying. Fondly one's 
physique is forced into auto-pilot The body appears 
obsessed with the folly outside the folly, but more is 
happening than can be observed. 

The spirit is alive and free, drying its wings of 

When you leave your home town you do not blow it up, 
you leave it be itself... without you. 


Amy Jo 


In the attic of my mind, 
above the cellar of my soul, 
behind a crack, in an alcove lies 
dust and cobwebs of old; 
ancient deceptions, evil smiles, 
skulls with teeth of gold, 
shattered promises, cruelly told, 
petrified in nitrous mold. 
Behind this crack, covered with dust 
hand in hand with an endless sea 
of deadened dreams-chains of the free; 
fossils of hope, hidden and boiling, 
scrolls of bile, impaled memories, 
and peering closely, one can see 
my leather-bound insanity. 


Jerald Janes 

Zeppo had an irrational fear of porcelain. He 
once told his darling wife, Aria that all porcelain was 
wrong. He believed firmly that mankind's wars were 
born solely of the desire for this commodity. 

Zeppo stepped out into the sun of the Wisconsin 
sky. He enjoyed this new state. Everything was clean 
and pleasant His mother said, "Zeppo, you're going to 
enjoy Wisconsin." He never felt so much joy before. 

His new house was situated on a large parcel of 
land. First things first he thought as he began to clear 
back the overgrowth in the backyard. He hacked away 
for a considerable time at a large bush. He then noticed 
something of a white composition deep within that very 
same bush. He backed away and turned his face up to 

the Wisconsin sky. "Hmmmmm " he murmured, 

"wonder what that could be." 

In a very strategic move, he pounced, like a 
doggy might pounce on a really big bowl of dog chow, 
upon the bush, offensively digging through branch and 
leaf to the object of his curiosity. With a barbaric 
swing, much like the swing of a really good professional 
baseball player, possibly the designated hitter, Zeppo 
tore away the last confining branch to reveal a toilet 

"ARIA!" he screamed in bloody fashion as he ran 
into the house. Aria saw his terribly pale face, as 
terribly pale as the floating curds in a Wisconsin cheese 
house, flash by her as he made his way to the security of 
the closet 

"Zeppo, you're being very hard to deal with right 

Zeppo replied, "I don't care, there is a wild toilet 
in our backyard and I am not coming out until you call 
someone to pick it up!" Zeppo, upset by the trespassing 
toilet was as upset as a garden upset by the hoe of the 
bewildered psychopathic homemaker. This toilet was a 
threat to the desired freedoms we all have that Zeppo had 

After a few days, he came out of the closet He 
resumed his cleaning chores, but steered clear of the 
backyard. Life in the house eventually returned to 

It got much colder as fall set into the Wisconsin 
setting of this incredible tale. Every now and then, 
Zeppo would peer out the window into the backyard. 
The toilet was being surrounded by leaves fallen from 
the really big trees in his backyard, trees as really big as 
the area within the boundaries of the wonderfully big 
state of Wisconsin. Zeppo felt some relief. 

The Wisconsin winter exploded with a fury. 
Eighteen inches of snow in two days, enough to drift 
over the toilet All that could now be seen was a nice 
and healthy snow drift NOW, Zeppo felt like a million 

One night Zeppo had a terribly terrible dream. 


Zeppo was standing alone in a basketball court, with the 
exception of that damned toilet across the floor, staring 
at him with its lid wide open, baby! The lights were 
very very low. It was real scary. The toilet became a 
tiger. The wind was blowing through the windows. 
People were screaming, not in the gym, but near by, 
near enough to be really spooky-like. 

Zeppo awoke in a sweaty instant Aria told him, 
"Darling, you must face that toilet! The man I married 
would not permit his life to be controlled by an 
abandoned toiled" 

Zeppo sobbed, "But dear, you don't understand!" 
Aria shot back at him, "DAMN YOU, ZEPPO, 


(Wow...she's pissed!) 

This was no game anymore. Zeppo's paranoia 
was destroying his marriage. He must overcome his fear 
of porcelain or forever be enslaved by the home-wrecking 

The winter winds had blown the drifts in the 
backyard down considerably. In a short time, there was 
nothing to hide Zeppo from his adversary. 

One January afternoon he tried to conquer the 
toilet He was five paces out back when a sharp wind 
made a satanic growl as it passed above the lips of the 
toilet bowl. "NOPE!" yelled Zeppo as he dashed back to 
the closet 

Aria began to pack her suitcases. It was over for 
her. She was ready to leave Wisconsin and the toilet 
that stole her husband from her. "Okay, okay! I'll do 
it!" Zeppo shouted to his wife. "Just give me a minute 
and I'll show you!" 

Aria began to count from sixty to zero. 
Zeppo stepped proudly into the Wisconsin day, 
and walked a straight path, as straight as a hang-noose 
with an ethnic person that wandered into dairy territory 
a-hangin' from it to the toilet Aria watched in doubt 

Zeppo's shadow darkened the toilet..jnaybe it 
wasn't so scary after all. He began unbuttoning his 
trousers. Aria watched in curiosity. 

Brave Zeppo faced his opponent "Getreadyyou 
BASTARD!" he whispered through teeth a-gritted. 
Zeppo turned, let his trousers drop, and with no 
hesitation, sat on the toilet seat Bare butt and fifteen 
degree porcelain met in mortal combat 
Aria now watched in disbelief. 
Zeppo concentrated his eyesight on the image of 
his wife, staring through the window. He tightened his 
abdomen. He felt very much in. control. The Pop-Tart 
that he ate late that last night moved through his lower 
intestine as if it had a calling, or something. He felt his 
sphincter pulsate. With a mighty yelp, he felt a 
metaphysical relief. His bowel had moved. Victorious 
and exhausted, he lost view of his wife. Losing 
consciousness, he whimpered, "...Aria...I....rve...." With that he fell off the stool. 

Aria ran from the house towards Zeppo. "Zeppo! 
ZEPPO! Oh, my dear Zeppo, I love you!" she cried. 
Our hero opened his eyes to the Wisconsin sun and then 

focused them on the face of his beloved wife. 

"Am I alive?" he asked. 

"Oh, YES, YES! You were so good Zeppo, I'm 
so proud of you!" Zeppo looked over to the commode. 

"Is it over, honey?" 

"Yes, YOU WON!" Aria cried. 

"I...I....J..XOVE YOU....TOO...ARIA," Zeppo 
whispered as he passed out again. He was rushed to the 
hospital, treated for exposure, and then released. 

Zeppo and Aria moved to Dwight Illinois and 
lived really happily ever after. 

The toilet has been grown over again. Zeppo's 
poop still sits at the bottom of the bowl, hardened now 
into an indistinguishable white piece of stuff, a reminder 
to no one of the battle once fought between a man of 
honor and an appliance of ignorance under the Wisconsin 




Just some chalk marks 

On the sidewalk 

They are your family's only memory 

Of you. 

They weren't for a child's game 

of hopscotch 

of marbles 
No, they were the results of an adult's game 

of drugs 

of violence 
That was played by a child. 

you were much too young 

to meet this end. 
What about your dreams 

of getting out 

of escaping 
from your ghetto existence? 
Did you think 
Your ill-gotten gains 
Were your ticket? 
Then somebody done you wrong. 
A deal gone bad- 
Your dreams are shattered— 
In a puff of smoke 
from the barrel of a gun. 



Bob Loewe 

Bob Loewe 


My mother, for some reason, has decided that my 
diet is too boring and that she is going to supplement it 
with various foreign and exotic foods. This week it was 

To find out more about this food that looks like 
a cross between an English muffin that's been skinned 
and an underdone pancake, I asked various people what 
they thought of crumpets. The first person I asked 
thought it was a car-small, foreign, and very expensive. 
My sister said a crumpet took second prize in last year's 

dog show. 

Now, my father and I realized that we were 
totally on our own to figure out the most important 
thing-how to cook them. 

Since they resembled English muffins, we 
determined the first thing we would try is putting one in 
the toaster. This appeared to be working pretty well 
until the toaster popped up and the crumpet didn't That 
elusive crumpet had somehow managed to wiggle its 
way down into the toaster and fuse itself to the side. - It 
would not allow itself to be pried out. My father, in a 
desperate attempt to subdue the delinquent pastry, turned 
the toaster over and began bouncing it on the counter. 
This produced nothing but seventeen pounds of bread 
crumbs stored up over years of toaster use. The crumpet 
remained firmly placed in the toaster, where it remains 
today giving a charred English flavor to all our toasted 


Next, we decided, since the crumpets also 
resembled pancakes, we would fry one. The fried 
crumpet looked great, but it tasted like a greasy English 
muffin. That one hit the trash after the dog refused to 

eat it. 

At this point, we started giving the things names. Since 
the first held siege to our toaster, it became known as 
"Attila the Crumpet.'' The second we named the 
"Medieval Menace." My mother said that there was 
nothing medieval about it, and that it was a thoroughly 
modem food. My father then declared that, since it was a 
modern food, he would use a modem form of cooking, 
and he nuked one in the microwave. That one is being 
used in the bedroom as a night light 

The fourth time, we baked one, and this method 
seemed to work the best, so we cooked up the rest (both 
of them) in the oven. 

We then served the delicacies (with coffee, of 
course) and went to McDonald's for lunch. So much for 


We come from a society of competitors. 
Starting as children, we are 
scholastically judged by our teachers, 
athletically judged by our coaches, 
aesthetically judged by our peers. 
Thos who would have us compete 
do not understand the nature of words. 
Perhaps baseball or science, 
they understand fully. 
But writers know what they don't 
There is no "best" in poetry- 
no basis for competition. 

Quatrains, sonnets, haikus, 

limericks, epics, don't correlate. 

Our work won't be lined up, 

judged first second andthird. 

No stick exists to measure our efforts- 
no gauge for literary content 

Only "personal best" exists. 

Poetry doesn' t get outdated, 

pushed to the back of the closet 

like last year's styles. 

Poet laureates may change, 

But their poems remain- 
Not relegated to old newspapers 

Like former heavyweights. 

Who's to judge whether 

Nash is better than Brooks? 

How do you compare 

e e cummings and Emily Dickinson? 

Did Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning 

slug it out during breakfast? 

Poets critique poems 

as a way to help the author, 

not to prove they're better. 

Let Philistines judge and compare, 

trying to choose the best 

Poets know better. 





On days when the children 

are driving me crazy, 

are teasing and fighting, 

are climbing the walls. 
There's a lot to be said 

for mothers who eat their young! 



Bob Loewe 


The white line plods by 

in 4/4 time, 

wheels slurring in circles, 

legs of light from poles 

appear to grab the car 

and pull it to them 

more legs grab the car 

and pull. 

Grabbing and pulling 

down the street. 

When I was four 

I rode in the back 

and thought legs of light 

were how the car worked. 

Or I would ride 

and look at the moon 

and its dark patches, 

thinking of it as Earth's mirror 

and that maybe 

another little boy was there 

riding in a car, 

seeing the Earth as his moon 

and knowing that light legs 

pull the car along. 

I was heartbroken 

when I found the moon was cold 

and the car ran 

on dead plants and dinosaurs 

and stars cannot be reached 

by standing on the roof at night 

I secretly hoped 

the Mars lander would send pictures 

of one big eye 

looking into the camera. 

Now I am learned. 

I know the magic behind radio 

and television. 

I even know the inner most secrets 

of my car. 

But you will never convince me 

beams don't reach out 

from the streetlights 

and pull my car along. 

And I will always wave 

to my opposite on the moon. 




He lies so still, a Robin 
should rest upon his shoulder 
and peck-just once-to 
remind him to 

The reminder will not be 

a welcomed thing. To breathe 

is to allow the pain, like a lover's 

sweet no, to envelope his bones that 

jangle inside wasted flesh. Swallowing 

his will like a thirsty child. 

A last pull on malignant lungs 
is anticipated. And with luck 
God will close his fly 
with one zipping motion, allowing 
dignity to follow the man. 


Kim VoUmer 


bring me 

take me 

young and unjaded 

I'll pretend 

and squeeze in among them 

become them 

they're us 

and we 


arms unloaded 

given purpose 

will provide; 

an ocean arena 

masses of youth in a liquid form 
come together in a slow gathering 
of unquenched desire 

pelting at the shore-relentless- 
and violently ignorant to 
the effects of war; 

instability was always created 

for the youth 

a cause to grope for hands 

to hold us united 

somehow we needed fear to perform. 



Elise Wylie Boucher 

I'd forgotten how large the sky 
And that is what I remember 

Not the sleeping child 

Dreaming through a thousand miles 

On the car seat beside me 

Nor the years of sorrow 

Of separation spent 

On the claustrophobic coast 

Nor the anger 
Exploding with each word 
My father and I shared 

Only that 

I'd forgotten how open home is. 


Amy Jo 


The bridge is upside down, and its lights reflect a 
smooth path across the water, I wonder if I can walk on 
it? The wind rifles icy fingers through my hair, and 
blows smoke from my cigarette into my eyes. After a 
moment, I flick the butt onto the gravel, and gaze up 
into the pale face of the moon. He is full tonight, 
perhaps bloated with the weary thoughts of others, such 
as mine. I look back at the water. The surface is placid, 
revealing nothing and hiding everything, broken only by 
the moon's beam and reflections of the white and green 
lights of the bridge. My insides ache, and I wonder where 
you are now; are you happy? I move closer, standing at 
the edge of the canal, and the path of lights seems to 
beckon me. I can almost hear it whisper, "Come, float 
with us." I close my eyes, and imagine sinking below 
the path's blackened depths, the freezing water rushing 
into my nose and mouth and lungs, and I settle in peace 
at the bottom. Then a car pulls up, and a man rolls 
down the window, and calls, "Waiting for somebody?" 
So I get into the car, and leave with him. It is the next 
best thing. 

Bob Loewe 


Three girls went walking- 
Look-alike shoes 
Matching skirts, 
Matching shirts, 
Look-alike minds, 
Preaching to all, 
"Be yourself!" 


Blake Axelson 


What this country needs isn't Bush or Munchkin 
Mike Dukakis, but rather a man of distinction, a man of 
character, a man like Morton Downey Jr. While you 
may ask why, the answer will soon be revealed, but only 
if you remove that degrading smirk from your face! 

The U.S. faces many challenges ahead. Starting 
with the budget, just think what a President Downey 
could tell Congress. "The only thing you guys ever 
passed was kindergarten mathematics!" With a quip like 
that. Congress would go up in a riot just as it should 
and did so many years ago when the nation was young. 

Morton would also be strong with terrorists. 
"You guys don't scare me! The only thing you terrorized 
was your mother after she saw what she gave birth to!" 

Most important of all is how successful Downey 
could be in campaigning. There would be no way for an 
opponent to out-insult him, therefore leaving Morton to 
scream his way to the White House. 

Imagine the reaction he'd give to the question of 
capital punishment. "You bet I believe in the death 
penalty, if a friend of mine is killed by someone do you 
think a prison term would be enough? Noo, hoo hoo!" 

With all this in mind, we hope you agree that 
Morton is the best hope for mankind to date. Thank you 
for reading, and remember on election day in '92, punch 
6 for Loudmouth. 

Downey in *92: He's an asshole and proud of it! 


Bob Loewe 

Mediocre people beget hordes. 


Kim Vollmer 

Maria Mellinger 

Ice water 
Slap in the face 
As we pass 
And you ask, 
"How've you been?' 


Paul Pritchett 


You are better than me. 
Just because I don't feel. 
I assume no one does. 
You've capture her heart 
along with the animals. 
My mind is gone. 
Your mind permeates the Bible 
Also your staff is longer 
than mine. 


Kim Vollmer 


sometimes I wake in the darkness 
of my bedroom and I can hear the 
world lain heavy upon your chest, 
slowly, painfully you exchange old 
air for new— sometimes I wait so long 
for your next breath that I fall back 
to sleep 

I awake frightened and chilled with 
the dawn, for the shadow of your body 
that I'd seen on the floor through 
the darkness, appears now to be my 
blanket in a jumble 

perhaps I had covered you 

from the chills of night— 

I lift the blanket to find ashes on 

my floor 

my flame is gone 

and tears comfort me. 




Name's Randee, I am male, I spell my name 
with two e's on the end because that's the way "Randee 
of the Redwoods'' from MTV spells his name and he's 
my idol. If you don't know him, it's not particularly 
important to my story, but if you do, it's just an added 
plus. I just wanted to start out by saying that I am a 
man and I have been one for two whole days now. 

I'm a freshman at Marquette Unversity in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-home of Buck's Bar, all you can 
drink for only a buck (slang translation: one American 
dollar). Hammered, smashed, blitzed out of your mind 
dribbling drunk all for less than the cost of a pack of 
cigarettes. I know because I just recently took up 
smoking, not bad at it if I must say so myself, and also 
because I spent an unjustifiable amount of time and 
money at the aforementioned establishment 

I drank at Buck's with my fraternity buddies, not 
yet brothers for my lack of passing an initiation, and it 
was at Buck's Bar the other night that they finally told 
me why I hadn't been able to get accepted as a brother. 
They told em I was still a boy, and would remain one 
until I made a statement, went against the odds, did my 
own thing (individuality was very important to them— 
they're a real liberal bunch of guys) and proved myself 
worthy of being called a man. They told me I had one 
last chance to prove myself to them, and that's how this 
whole fiasco started. 

After the guys, who stand proud and call 
themselves men, stumbled out of the bar that night, I sat 
there alone and contemplated my situation. Actually I 
was laying on the ground amidst peanut shells and 
tipped-over bar stools. Sometime after two a.m. I 
passed out and just after three I came to with this 
amazingly clever plan. 

I left the bar before closing time which is not 
like me at all, I must have hurt my head when I fell off 
the stooL On a regular night, Stan, the bartender, would 
carry me out, drunk and buckless and tuck me in on the 
bench outside the door. He always woke me in the 
morning when the bar opened at eleven, and I became 
their first customer of the day— everyday. Now that's 
something to be proud of. 

Off I went, plan intact, on that beautiful two- 
more-weeks-and-all-this-damn-snow-will-melt morning 
to find my best buddy Fred. Fred is known as a "dead- 
head" because he follows the band, The Greatful Dead, to 
watch them in concert over and over, to meet "beautiful 
people," and to "live, live, live!" he tells me. All day 
long he hums and mumbles Greatful Dead songs to 
himself, and sometimes to me personally when I get 
overly upset about this fraternity problem I'm having. 

Fred had been counting the days until the next 
concert; it was to be held at the Rosemont Horizon in 
Chicago, so I knew he'd help me with my scheme of all 
schemes. My plan had many advantages, if all went 


Fred's Flag, continued 

well I'd get national coverage for heroism, well, maybe 
not heroism, perhaps, courage, well at least originality 
and stupidity but national coverage is national coverage. 
And I'd get into that fraternity and become a fraternity 
brother like my father was, and like his father was and 
like his father was; if all else failed, I was sure to get a 

So Fred and I packed up the necessities which 
consisted of a toothbrush, nine dollars and seventeen 
cents, mosdy in change, in fact all of it except for two 
dollar bills, and the flag of the United States of America. 
Fred had the flag hanging on the wall of our shared dorm 
room. He had forgotten where he found it, but he knows 
he didn't steal it. Fred doesn't steaL Fred also has an 
awful memory. 

Sometimes he even forgets my name. He 
apologizes for it, blames it on all the acid his parents did 
in the 60's. I don't mind it much, his forgetfulness, 
since he's my best buddy. He will be for life now since 
he's letting me use his flag to make my statement of 
individual existence. Not to mention follow in the 
footsteps of my dad's dad's dad, and if all else fails, he's 
helping me to get a tan. 

When I told him the plan, which I'll tell you as 
soon as I get to that part of my story, he rolled up the 
flag and threw it over his shoulder, being careful not to 
let it touch the ground, he grabbed his ticket to the 
Greatful Dead show and headed south with me beside 

So here's the plan. I hitchhike down to Florida 
(part with Fred in Chicago) for the "Spring Break- 
festivities and right in the middle of a crowd of a couple 
thousand sunburnt teenagers, and in front of the MTV 
camera crew (who film live reports on the hour of the 
happenings at Daytona)(*maybe even meetRandee of the 
Redwoods) I proceed to, using the flag of the United 
States of America as a beach blanket, get tan and get 
some heavy recognition. 

We got into Chicago later that day, after a couple 
dozen different rides, barefoot and bladder-full. Why? 
Well, I tell you, the easy one first, our bladders were full 
because that's a part of life. And barefoot? Because 
when we got 70 miles from Milwaukee Fred noticed that 
there wasn't any more snow on the ground and decided 
we should lose our shoes, it was the 'hippie-on-the- 
road,"boy turning man,' 'Dead-head* thing to do, so we 
did it A sort of bonding experience that at the time 
seemed logical, almost normal. 

So there we were in Chicago unable to use a 
public restroom due to the popular policy of "no shoes, 
no service." I suggested the obvious, an alley. Fred is a 
natural lover, he doesn't litter, smoke cigarettes, or use 
any product that comes in an aerosol can— he won't kill a 
spider, how could I expect him to piss on the side of a 

On Michigan Avenue, we discover a building with many 
people going in and out, too busy to notice our naked 
feet. The instant we get in the door Fred throws the flag 
to me, gets through the thickness of the crowd and lean 
hear his bare feet slapping the marble-like floors. He's 
gone. I was worried about him, I knew he'd find a toilet 
but it wouldn't be long before he forgot I was with him 
and he'd forget and come looking for me. He'd just head 
for the Horizon when the time came and until then he'd 
just float around. Me, I can't float, I wasn't ready to 
hitch on my own-I was even half hoping he'd forget 
about the Dead Show and come with me to Florida. 
He'd get full credit for ownership of the flag, I assure 
you. I had to find him, dragging the flag behind me, I 
listened for his footsteps. Made it though crowds, down 
hallways and to a bathroom-found Fred, lost the flag. 

Fred was pretty upset about it, not so much that 
I lost it but that it was touching the ground no doubt, 
and "that's just not cool," he tells me. I set him up 
with something to do while I retraced my steps back to 
the flag. He likes abstract art, and we appeared to be in 
an art gallery so I got him interested in a picture on the 
wall and told him not to move. 

I hear him singing a song as I walk away 
knowing that there's just no chance he'll forget about 
the concert, and wondering how he can remember every 
note, every word to all those <ongs and can't even 
remember my name at times. I located the flag, so did 
about thirty other people and a guy who stood right in 
the middle of the heaping stripes and smiled as a 
photographer took his picture. My life was over, 
dejected and hungry I walked out onto Michigan Avenue 
again. I knew Fred was hungry also and would soon 
forget the picture and that I told him to stay put, to go 
in search of food. He'd forget about me and the flag, 
probably even forget to go back to school after the 
spring break. 

I walked over to the lake, I couldn't swim. I put 
my bare feet into the lake-started my short descent into 
death and a miracle occurred. I suddenly, knee-high and 
knocking at death's door, remembered that my cousin's 
ex-girlfriend's brother's old roommate's father knew 
someone who worked with a woman who had neighbors 
that had grandkids that attended Joliet's Junior College. 
So, I guess you could say I heard from a reliable source 
that it is a great place to escape. I need an escape. Well, 
I did two days ago but now I'm here at JJC, started 
smoking, watched TV fifteen hours in a row for the first 
time in my life and I might even have a part-time job in 
the cafeteria. The only thing bugs me really is that the 
guy, the artist guy, he got all the credit for standing on 
Fred's flag. And I'm not even tan. And about the 
"fraternity thing," I think I'd rather be a man on my own 
terms. Thanks, Fred. 



Maria Mellinger 

Jerald Janes 


The alienation of Deaf Ted and Danoota 
Occurred on a ghastly ghostly night 
Upon which normally we'd be a sight 
Of ghasdy ghostly and me. 
Our separation came as a surprise 
For normally we normal ride together 
And thought we'd normally stay forever 
And be always Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me. 
But condemnation has a way 
Of breaking up what was today 
That was all she had had to say 
To Deaf Ted, Danoota, and me. 
(Malcolm, however, remained intact) 


Maria Mellinger 


Little prince 
Arthur's child 
Sing my song 
In whispers. 
Ocean boy 
Arthur's child 
Wish me dreams 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

But I lost you 
Somewhere in that space 
Between sleep and dreams 
That peculiar place 
Where nothing is as it seems 

But I was confused 
and I cast about wildly 
Seeking your sight, your feel 
Listening to you say mildly 
"Seek me-I am your ideal.'* 

But I lost you 
somewhere in that space 
Between sleep and dreams. 


Hunger-self reality. 

America is the holy land, 

see it your self. 

Vision quest, self visualization. 

Those diabolical Indians, I can't see the land, honey! 

OUR land has no tradition, theirs does. 

Nationalism, economics. 
Honey, I still can't see the land! 
The world is one. 

Dissolve your nation. 

Strengthen your family. 

Teach your child. 

Regain self respect 

See the land. 

See the land. 

One world, tribal life. 

The rebirth of myth 

inward consciousness 


Discover internal depths. 

Discover the land. 

Divinity of neighbors. 

Where the hell is that camp ground, honey!? 

Infancy to wisdom 

Danger resides in the distraction. 


Myth is not fact 

Metaphoric dream, dream always. 

the metaphysical 

the psyche 

the myth 

Can you see the land? 

American free fall 

no more strings to pull 

automation of humanity. 

the machine provides the mask 

you provide the ugliness 

wear the mask, hide your soul. 

Farewell to social power. 

Greetings to humanity. 




Bob Loewe 


Perhaps we should be allowed 

to kill people 

who cut us off 

or do fifty-five in the left-hand lane; 

to make blowhards 

listen to their own jokes; 

to hunt down the Carnival Cruise lady 

and surgically remove her smile; 

to force-feed Ms. Redgrave 

Weight Watchers 

lasagna and turkey so tender 

until she surrenders; 

to find the inventor of oat bran 

and make him eat cake; 

to dye George Bush's hair gray 

and break telephones that eat quarters. 

When we hear, "Have a nice day," twenty times, 

we should be allowed to insert staples 

into lips that would say it again. 

We're already allowed to 

poison rats, 

swat mosquitoes, 

electrify criminals. 

Anything is possible in this world. 

After all, 

songbirds are shot for sport 

Amy Jo 


When I look into the mirror. 

The mirror looks back at me, 

And I fish-close my eyes 

To no avail, for I still see. 

So I drain the bottle, and turn to face 

What I am, and always will be. 

Elise Wylie Boucher 


You can try 

To stab my spirit 

With your wicked wounding words. 

But I 

Have armed myself 

With a weapon of my own— 

I know you now. 

Ciao, baby. 


jerry janes 

If the Atlantic Ocean disappeared 
we'd have that much more farmland. 

If Gov. James Thompson started to play guitar 
he'd be good if he put his heart into it and practiced often. 

If photographic paper was psychic 
we'd be able to wipe out bad memories. 

If eyeglasses were replaced with soup cans 
animals would still laugh at us just the same. 

If you could talk to people in your television 
it would be useless because they can't hear you anyway. 

If Bruce Springsteen gave all his money away 
animals would still laugh at us just the same. 

If human skin was transparent 
it would take a while, but we'd all get used to it 

If light bulbs lost their vacuum 
they wouldn't work. 

If human vision was twice as acute 
libraries would be 50% smaller. 

If quarters were reissued in silver 
people would try top only spend dimes and nickels. 

If it weren't timely to be squeaky clean 
America would be a cleaner place. 

If JUCO pretty boys and girls shaved their heads 
animals would still laugh at us just the same. 

If I didn't press another type key 


Maria Mellinger 


There's an unforgettable communication 

In the silence that you spoke to me; 

Like the carnival music you could hear as a child 

When you became one with the wind and trees 

And a memory. 

There's a tenderness in the strength of a touch 

When you've been gone so long and I need so much 

Like a memory. 

But I know there's only one wind in the sky 

And I wait 

For it to blow and pass me by, 

Like a memory. 

Now there's a silent circus coming to town 

And the children have gathered all around; 

You have to climb to the highest limb of the tree 

To find quiet and wind, and then find me 

And a memory. 




Gently hold me 
For I am fragile. 

In morning, covered with dew 
Sparkling in the sun 
And you must be a spider 
To discover my strengths 

Tread me easily. 
Don't sweep me away 
With your unthinking 
Human hand 

Kim Vollmer 


If you watch me 

will I dance as freely 

as when you stood 

quietly at the door 

me, unaware 


can I be untamed with you 

would you let me? 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


It is vague 

This need of you 

The passion of despair left me long ago 

Leaving only drifting sorrow 

The feeling of a missing part 

A portion of my soul forever lost 

Lost to you. 

I don't cry anymore—oh no— 
My tears dried long ago. 

But sometimes 

After midnight 

I awaken 

Touch the place you once occupied 

And realize I am alone 

And know a deeper sorrow 

Than ever I felt in all my violent passion. 




At 3:05, all is still. 

Even the goldfish sleep. 

Yet there he sits, 

lost in the paneling, 

rich, tawny grains intertwining, 

chasing and twirling 

in fiesta. 

The ceiling fan turns, 

casting shadow current 

off the canisters and 

coffee pot, 

text pages blown slighdy 

by its breeze. 

A little mottled cat stalks in, 

claws tickety ticking over tile. 

It looks to its human, 

wondering what's the matter 

with its servant 

Clock hands wave in circles. 

The feline ticketies out 

Swimming in silence 

sits the sole human, 

except for penscratch on paper 

and a million screaming 

colors and shapes. 


Jerald Janes 

At heart, I'm nothing. 

But I have to fan my tail somewhat so I can get 
about you. 

I detest how it has become and remains, the best 
is to be made of it alL 

Where did we get out of the river? It was 
innocent at first, for we were hungry and the shiny new 
world caught our eyes. 

Complications set in and we were diseased. 

The overindulgence, the gluttony, each becoming 
his own personal god, it became the norm. We 

Once I believed in you, yes. My life was much 
happier, but somehow I fell back into the river. So it 
all bounces back and forth, okay? 

We've all been on one side for too long. I can't 
even get my own good unless you shut up for once. 

I'll give my all to you. Make what you want 
from me and my hands, I only hope enough of you 
understand as I understand me and you. 

I am not what I believe. I am what you will 
make me. 

Clay I am, formless and void of markings. Fill 
me and make my life immortal as I wish you can. 

Help me as I help you. This is my statement 


Kim Vollmer 


John Schmitz 


So grow grass and barbed-wire in a basement 

And situate a wattage sun. 

Collect a company of cotton clouds and 

Ropws and rows of well-dressed scarecrows. 

A dung heap here and a dung heap there 

Plus that perpetual reeking stink atmosphere 

Of pigs 

Falling prostrate beneath the suspended rubber udder 

Emanating 2% Prairie Farms into equal-portioned puddles. 

"Such rustic religion," breathes the Plowman, 

Sweet teat in hand as the clock strikes four. . 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


I am a Muse 

Eyes away 

-And pen scribbling across page 

Paint across paper 

Drama across stage- 
Looking inward ever inward 
To fling this all away 

I am a Fury 

Eyes blind 

-And heart tormented by words unkind 

Emotions by tying binds 

Soul by passing time— 
I chase myself and find 
No other fool so sublime. 




I have proved my love 
By ignoring your attempts 
To drive me insane. 


your eyes are a magnet to the sky 

so many worlds beyond 

they are sharp and wicked 

the eyes of a bird 

who knows how to fly 

but won't go alone 

pecking at my lips, cheeks, and chin 

blood becomes the slow run 

of a rolling drop 

I roll back my head 

as you catch me in your arms 

red frames my face 

my hair is saturated 

with heavy red kisses 

too heavy to float 

too light to fly 

two in love 

too in love 


Kim Vollmer 


warm summer afternoons 

when it would drizzle rain 

on our fun and play 

we'd sit up 

under the awning 

of my front porch 

watching the drops 

slap the hot sidewalk cool 

the sun peeking out 

hiding part- way behind a cloud 

the drizzle would only last minutes 


again sprinkling 

on and off 

like the sun 

easing back and forth 

behind a cloud 

gathered in the shade of the awning 

we waited not saying a word 

five or six of us 

just out of the three foot pool 

my dad bought, and gathered the neighbors 

to help us put up each year 

we'd all run up the steps with 

our wet suits sagging and hanging 

on our bony, honey-colored little bodies 

soaked wet, from swimming, we'd all 

huddle under one beach towel 

happily out of the rain. 





Greetings, nightmares, 
You have come to disturb me. 
What form do you take tonight? 
You come as soon as my eyes shut, 
Shrieking in my head, 
Crawling around my skull. 
I've seen thousands of your forms, 
And each night your bring new ones, 
Intensifying like gravity- 
Fear = nightmares per second squared- 
Until I sit up 
And shake you off 
Then drift back to sleep 
And witness still new forms 
From the flip side 
Of my imagination. 
The curse of creativity. 



I saddle a high-tech stationary bike, and 

try to accelerate my heart rate. 
After this warm-up I wander into the stale 

workout room, people move, air doesn't 
A multitude of chrome machines seem 

capable of a multitude of pain. 
I'm finally feeling motivated after doing the 

leg squat machine. 
After completing ten machines, my complimentary 

towel is damp and full of make-up. 
The sweat not soaked up by the towel, drips into 

my eyes, stinging from the salt. 
My arms start to ache, my legs soon follow, 

but I'm almost finished, 
My hair is wet, my sweat suit is badly 

stained, what a mess. 
But when the cool night air hits me 

outside, I do feel pretty good. 
And despite all the minor discomforts, I 

know that I'll come back. 
And do more "time" at this chrome and 

vinyl playground of the eighties. 


Maria Mellinger 

She wants miracles 
Wrapped in wax paper 
Tied with a bow 
Like the one in her hair, 
And she wants true believers 
To court at her door 
And turn away the suitors 
That left her before. 
Wax paper miracles 
Come easy. 


John Schmitz 


Disappear or die, 
Then I'll commit 
Then I'll love you forever. 

That perfect past, memory, so pure and smooth. 

Is so easy to consume. 

Love in a vacuum, on another planet, an island- 

An unpolluted breeze. 

Void of poisonous reality or spreading ennui. 

Disappear or die, 

Then I'll commit; 

Forever faithful to your name. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


Name me exile then 
And have it done 

Shun me 

Burn me 

Stone me 

Turn me 
Away from all you are 

Don't kill me kindly 

Pass the judgment 
And leave my love 
Incinerated at the stake. 



Maria Mellinger 


What a fashion to be alone 

To hide your head inside a home 

To know no words 

To feel no air 

Unaware of another's care- 

What a lonely coat to wear. 


Kim Vollmer 


lonely grows this flower 
the sun has lost its radiance 
and warmth 

the wind has lost its cool 
fresh movement - 
the days have lost their laughter 
for the children 
they have grown 
and the nights have lost their 
whispers and crickets- 
lonely grows this flower 
the last one 
and so afraid. 


Jerald Janes 


I close my eyes again, while she weaves me into her 


I leave the flat, but fall back, into her. 

Nauseous from my discover, I close my eyes again. 

Midnight, I pray for midnight. 
She'll be asleep. I will not be. 
At midnight I'll escape her compassion-. 
At midnight Til fall out of love. 

It approaches twelve. 
She smiles in her sleep. 
She is beautiful to me. 

I rise from her body, 


I move from the bed, 


I close the flat door, 

as the binding of our relationship straightens. 

I neglect to ease the outside door, 

as it slams shut. 

I gaze in guilt down the dampened street. 
A light flashes across my view, 
coming from our bedroom window. 

I charge down the puddled walk to my car. 
She is coming. 

I turn the comer, and slip. 
She is coming. 

I know that my car is of no protection. 
She is coming. 

I juggle the keys. 
She is coming. 

the groggy beast rolls em to the freeway. 
She is coming. 

Sixty, seventy, eighty. 
She is coming. 

I feel her loving hand cradle my feet, 
I feel her deep stomach against my back, 
I feel her moist breath rush through my hair. 
I feel her. 
I smell her. 
I taste her. 

I awaken to find her at my side in our bed. 

"You're dreaming," she says. 

She strokes my brow and whispers, "Go to sleep> n 

I turn away to stare out the window. 

The rain rolls down the glass. 

The night continues its sleep. 

I hate her. 

I hate her. 

I hate her. 

The rain still rolls down the glass. 
The night still sleeps. 

I turn my head and whisper, hoping she will not hear, 

"I love you" 

"I know," she replies. 

I close my eyes again. 



Judy Belfield 


Winter dusk falls; 

rain drizzles 

headlights race 

neon signs wink. 

Evening wakes, 

stretches its arms through the trees, 

crooks a come-hither finger 

to the weekend: 

an invitation everyone seems to welcome. 

Tires hiss by 

people speed to 

yellow-lit apartments 

enlivened by the squeals of babies 

or dark silent foyers 

or gray-hazed porches... 

everybody going home 

to meet an anxious dog or cat, 

or husband, or wife, 

or someone, or no one. 

They'll sit down to dinner 

or grab a bite and run 

or flick on the television, 

the radio, the stereo. 

I watch them 

through a restaurant window 

go wherever they go. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 

There are no windows 
In my wall 

But I cannot bear the blank 



Pictures upon it 

(Unicorns Castles Calm Seascapes) 
(Gryphons Gardens Warm Fireplace) 

And I lie in comfort 

Looking upon it 

Oh, beautiful thing it is! 

This window 

Of my own making 

Is faithful. 

(Shows me only what I wish to see) 
(This is where I hide from reality) 


John Schmitz 


Pullman, Pullman, number seven 
Heaven-bound on this Babelesque passage. 
Decapitated angel and 
Angel of Death guarding a black slab. 
Marshall Field and Christmas- 
Slush, sludge, and withered oak. 
Sacred Palmerian temple erupted from the earth- 
Petrified and hollow howling. 
Fisher-Price crypt-city crawling with the irony 
Of vivacious blues, reds, and greens 
While next door, a pyramid of all things 
Passively denies the specter of time. 




Shadows play. 
What does this mean? 
How do they play? 
Some- shadows go this way, 

And some shadows go that way, 





s w *" have crazy a 11 ^es, 
some have ROUNDED SHAPE. 
Always very different. 
Several times a day, 
they climb all over everything! 
And that's how shadows play. 


Maria Mellinger 


The day was overcast. 

But a little light came through. 

People were walking past my window, 

But no one that I knew. 

The telephone was dead, 

But I didn't expect a call. 

People were stopping at my window, 

And I didn't know them at all. 

I tried to write my experience, 

Then I found I had none. 

People were looking in my window, 

And I didn't know a one. 


Maria Mellinger 

I was in bed, a* usual. Sleeping, for me, is a 
hobby I like to practice whenever I get the chance. 
Theodora was there, of course, dressed in pink Snoopy 
pajamas with booties attached. I used to love those kind 
of pj's when I was a kid, but these days I settled for 
sweat pants and an old Duran Duran t-shirt 

The night before, I had stayed up until 5 a.m., 
writing desperately trying to fill my ten-page 
requirement. I was no longer satisfied with turning in 
old poems in Creative Writing class, and so I pushed my 
pen until it came up with enough ink to satisfy the 
paper. Some of the poems came from old ideas, which I 
didn't really consider cheating, since the stuff couldn't 
possibly get any worse than its original form. 

I went through every notebook I had kept from 
freshman year on up, searching for things scribbled in 
the margins, and ignoring the names of current "loves" 
and hideous cartoons of the Sisters of St. Francis. I 
found reading assignments that might have helped me 
pass a quiz or two, phone numbers that could have 
gotten me out of my house on a Friday night, and every 
here and there, a quote, phrase, or strange little image 
that could still be amusing in some revised and rewritten 

I found cliche lines, written in total earnest or 
pain, I'm sure, that I actually laughed over. I found 
sophomoric notes about flowers, hearts and (gag, muffle, 

You can imagine how horrible the experience 

But it was also in these notebooks that I found 
lines about "poems written in crayon on brown paper 
bags," which was shorted and used in "Richard's 
Library." I found the patterns for sonnets, those good 
old ABAfi, etc. lines, plotted out; patterns that I now 
have memorized but once had to follow like Mom's 

I didn't find anything written about Theodora, 
although I had planned to write a series of books about 
her when I was in the fourth grade. I even went so far as 
to copy all the plots of the Clifford books, ready to 
modify them to suit her needs. But she seemed content 
anyway, maybe wishing I'd turn off the light so she 
could sleep, but otherwise okay. 

Tonight, however, it was past midnight and our 
room was already dark. I thought for a little while about 
the larger than life term paper I had due in one more day, 
then decided to rest tonight and work the 5 a.m. shift 
again tomorrow. I felt a little guilty about putting off 
the work, but I just hated seeing those little bags under 
Theodora's eyes when I deprive her of her sleep several 
nights in a row. 

And so I drifted off. 

It was around 3 a.m., I guess, when something 
poked me awake. It might have been one of my 
notebooks— they all had bent and misshapen wires 

sprouting in every direction-or it might have been the 
"writer's notebook" I killed off a couple of stories ago. 
Whatever it was, I jumped up in bed, and Theodora 
jumped with me, more from the force of my movement 
than her own fear, I think. 

I had the cold and fuzzy realization-like the .wet 
washcloths Mom used to put on my forehead when I had 
a fever— that my poems, my stories, everything I had 
written recently, had surrounded my bed. I didn't 
actually see any faces, as most of my work dealt with 
abstract images, but I felt their presence. 

"What do you want?!" I cried melodramatically. 

They all answered at once, in a great cacophony 
of voices, tones, and undercurrents. "What's my point?" 
"Am I about God?" "What's my third line supposed to 
mean?" And "Why don't we have titles?" "How come 
you misspelled this word in my sentence?" "Why don't 
you write 'the end' at my end? I can't tell if I'm part of 
the next page or if we just look good together." On and 

I tried to be as polite as I could . After all, these 
were my creations. No matter how insensitive thev 
turned out to be, I had to have some compassion. 

"Listen," I said, quite calm now, "I just wrote 
you. As soon as I finished writing you, I lost control of 
you. Other people are going to decide what your point 

I remembered my senior year in high school, 
when I wrote a villanelle entitled, "Simply Breathe." 
The nun who moderated the school's literary magazine 
was convinced the poem was all about God, and she 
wanted to capitalize every "he" in it I thought it was 
fine if she got God out of the- poem, but I didn't want 
Him to be forced down people's throats with a capital 
"H," and I brought her to tears over this point. 

I continued. "The people who read you will 
decide what your third line means. And if they don't get 
anything out of you, well then, they'll just decide I'm 
some bratty kid trying to be an artist. And you don't 
have titles because I'm lazy. And you're misspelled 
because I'm lazy. And I don't write 'the end' because 
most people are intelligent enought to know when one 
poem ends and a second begins, especially if there's a 
line or a page separating it from the next" 

• The poem that asked about 'the end' seemed 
wounded by my last remark, but cheered up a little when 
I winked into the darkness and said, "Ask that other page 
out if you think you look good together." The other 
page giggled faintly in the backgroud. 

It was now 3:05 a.m., as poems don't usually 
take up much time, and I settled back into bed. My 
work gradually floated out of the room, and I held 
Theodora. She was staring directly into Nick Rhodes' 
face on my t-shirt, and we both fell asleep and dreamed 
of Clifford, the big red dog. 



Bob Loewe 

Bob Loewe 
















Pandering to 











Poetry Painstakingly. 

Probably not 


Amy Jo 


I opened the book, and read the first chapter. 
The burnt pages unfolded, and swept me away- 
vivid scenes of evil, sweet haunting laughter; 
my eyes were covered in a wretched cloak of grey. 
I saw the beginning end; the turtle did not stir 
and the scent of life surrounded me-death and decay. 
Out of the blackness rose a single pillar 
engraved with Druidic symbols: "All who slay 
shall slay again," and a shadowed overture 
of sound gritted in Fate's teeth. The silent refrain 
moved Death to seek me, longing my soul to purge; 
he passed and turned and passed again. 
After the last chapter, I looked, and closed the door, 
and from the echoes, I found there was no life before. 



I thought of you today— 
Our two-year anniversary. 
Just could not forget the way 
You were my loving adversary. 
So thin and pale 
And I so round. 
Although you would laugh, 
Your eyes didn't hide 
The tears in your soul 
From the years that you cried. 

February and March 

And all through the spring 

We danced and we laughed 

And read poetry. 

The semester flew by- 

We skipped most of our classes, 

Worked overtime 

To pay for expenses. 

The slips came in the mail 

And all our grades were the same letters. 

I loved you I thought 

And tried not to be cross 

As we nearly were fired 

Because you fought with the boss. 

I left your apartment 
And can't forget why. 
I got you to laugh. 
You taught me to cry. 
I drank with my friend. 
I felt I was owed. 
I got over you though 
And am glad to know 
You married another 
And left me alone. 

I owe you. 
I loved you. 
I hate you. 
Goodbye, Kim. 


Bob Loewe 


After all of this, 
Shall we escape gravity 
On the wings of a mind? 



Maria Mellinger 


The paperback copy 

With paragraphs underlined, 

Pages torn out. 

Comers pressed down for lack of a bookmark, 

And held together 

With a complex pattern of rubber bands. 

Seems to the the 

Most loved book. 


Bob Loewe 


A foe snuck into my house, 
bringing subversives and saboteurs 
who stocked the kitchen 
and laid in stores of beer. 
Every time I pass the fridge 
a beverage calls 
"Bob, look at me. 
You're thirsty," 
And it leaps into my grip. 
Then a possessed bag of Doritos 
jumps from the shelf 
into my free hand. 
The enemy meanwhile 
causes a sandwich to materialize. 
I take up the self-sacrificing food 
and go to the next room. 
The demons jump into the TV 
or the stereo. 

Somehow they always know 
which will be more interesting. 
It must be a Communist plot, 
a sub-manifesto manifesting. 
I sit around gaining weight 
and neglecting my homework. 
Reds will take over our nation. 
We will all be ignorant and suffer 
from high blood pr e ssur e 
and cholesterol poisoning. 
I will take action- 
find where those Commies 
hid my schoolbooks. 
I will lose the chips 
and learn my lessons. 
I will and strike a blow for democracy- 
just as soon as Oprah is over. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


Oh pen, sing my heart 
For I cannot 
I can never say 
The joy life is. 

The sensual pleasure of sun 
The seduction of wind 
(Like his flesh against me 
Like his fingers) 
Playing across my body 

My song is silent beyond my mouth 
Human ears cannot hear 
The power of the notes 
The strength of need of passion of love 
and joy and hope 

I can only turn my face to 
The Sun 

and, warmed, intense, giving 

I can but pray that 
My kiss will show him 

The answer to his question. 


Kim Vollmer 


I pump out my heart's desires 

yearn to spill myself 

over the top 

I come flowing 

to you in a word 

to me in a thought 

exposed to the light of my eyes I can 

scribble over or darken the print 

of a tail yell leaping out or the 

shudder of a small soft fright 

lam me 

before I wrote 

and after I stop to examine 

the me I want for you to know 

and if I 

or if you 

get too involved 

we could 

flip the page over 

and find someone new. 



David J. Sklowdowski 

On these shelves 

Lucy and Desi Amaz 

Are no longer together. 

Although they remain separate 

they lie above the works 

of Beethoven and Baryshnikov. 

On these shelves 

Leaders of different times 

Gather together 

Express ideas. 

Entertainment provided 

by Johnny Carson and George Burns. 

On these shelves 

Great minds of Einstein and Curly 

share thoughts. 

On these shelves 
Lie the biographies 
of the ones 
who made a difference. 


Maria Mellinger 


This is the song of my downfall: 
There's cynicism floating in the notes 
With sarcasm lyrics in little boats 
And a lifeless lifecraft lost at sea 
As sharks swim circles all around me. 
There's a bitter hum dripping from the saxophone 
Because it can't make a call 
And no one's home. 
There's a need for a chorus 
And a new bass string. 
And the horn section's waiting 
For the phone to ring. 
This is the song of my downfall: 
I'm sorry if it's hard to dance to; 
You taught me what I know, 
Basic piano; 

the orchestration is through- 
Co-authored by you. 


Judy Belfield 


Mystic lipstick 

colored predictions 

Whore-of-Babylon Red 

for the coming year— 

a siren's flamelit prognostications 

as bereft of shame 

as the soft heart of a slug. 

We woke to hear them 

strumpeting our bleak bedroom, 

glaringly exploding 

like balloons 

filled with bright blood 

splattering the walls, 

the sound a 

volley of cannons 

building to an earsplitting crescendo. 

Shall I say we were startled? 


Maria Mellinger 



In the driveway next to mine. 

He returns. 

She cries a denial. 

Broken car windows 

Let in night air 

As the children 


Deep under co vers; 

And I, 

Far away in another 


Fumble for the keys 

To my door. 


Maria Mellinger 



Freezes me into geometrical cubes 

That people pop into a warm drink 

And take great pleasure in. 

But their excitement produces heat, 

And I melt. 

Diluting their alcoholic pleasure, 

And liquefying my 




Maria Mellinger 

Elise Wylie Boucher 

Oh get away from me 
Angry man 

You scream your bitterness 
To the world 
And cry in despair 
"Why am I unloved?" 

Oh I cannot bear to receive you. 

I cannot pull your head 

To my breast 

And sweedy sooth your agony. 

I cannot accept the cold comfort 

Of your raging body... 

For you hate too much. 

I cannot stand against 
Your wicked scowl. 



Spring found her hopeful; 
Pondering waves that later 
Washed away her life. 


Nels Nelson 


Surely, if all the atoms 

In my body were to split. 

My pain would be 

Splattered onto, and shot into: 

Others for miles around. 

But, if by chance they were . 

As disappointed with the whole life scam 

As I am, I believe I would be looked upon 

As a mercy killer. 



Curl yourself into a ball 

Of quietness 

But please include the sound 

Of me. 

I promise 

Only to whisper 

And hold your hand 

Most silendy; 

And if you speak, 

I will listen 



Nels Nelson 


I have this cat 

Named Raspadilly. 

I keep it in a fish bowl 

As a symbol of cheap cartoonic irony. 

Someday, I will fill the bowl 

And drown my cat. 

Getting revenge for 

All those stupid goldfish 

Which died on Saturday mornings. 


Bob Loewe 


I did ponder 
my ponderosity, 
wondering if I was more 
than a body and brain 
of congealed oatmeal, 
speculated whether my being 
had meaning to others. 
I bombasted with people 
who condemn spirits 
not cloning their own. 
Now I ponder your eyes. 
Whether I am myself, 
when I'm not myself, 
those depths shine at me, 
and I know one person 
truly likes me. 



Kim Vollmer 

Amy Jo 


In stagnant dreams, I taste the fire, 
and see the skull that is his face; - 
cutthroat grin in black tar water 
his chilling touch, and frozen embrace. 
Behind locked door, a single fount 
of blood spews forth, death decreed, 
and lonely Evil stalks his haunt, 
grips my mind, and begins to feed. 
So now I let out a silent scream, 
shrinking inside, and slip off the latch; 
I bathe my- soul in gasoline, 
and with opened eyes, I light the match. 


Nels Nelson 


The sound of a sole church bell 

Drips down my street 

As I sit in the quiet of my front porch 

On a fragilely cold fall night 

The crystal air threatens to shatter 

To the frosted ground if I hit it 

Too hard with my breath. 

A stray cat finds pleasure 

It plays with a drifting paper sack, 

And then walks to the top of a mountain 

That was never there before. 


Nels Nelson 


When I was seven,and played tee-ball in the town league, 

I had to stop a game 

To run to the bathroom. 

All the parents there 

Watching their children 

Started to laugh. 

My coach, being a prominent citizen, 

Didn' t let me play much afterwards. 

So as to avoid embarrassment. 

What was I supposed to do? 




I stripped my body of my better qualities 

thin of them 

free of them 

agile, naked 

I piled them at my feet 

stepped up onto them 

and was taller than those around me 

I had deceived them, already I lacked honesty. 

In time-one by one-I found qualities missing 

I, gloating and completely unaware, had been robbed. 

I stepped down into the sea of bobbing heads of hair, 

paranoid, my self assurance was gone. 

I assembled what was left of my better qualities 

and began a mad stash of them- 

small handfuls of character I stuffed into my 

pockets, threads of kindness I brushed 

into my hair, what was left of generosity and 

common sense I placed under my tongue— 

with responsibility and courage crammed between 

my toes I plugged my ears with little 

scraps of intelligence and beauty. 

All that is left is deceit and insanity 

which I place at the feet of the 

man standing next to me 

and beg him to become taller. 


Maria Mellinger 

I walked slowly to the restaurant a few blocks 
from my house to get a quick lunch before work. There 
was no foreshadowing of what was to occur- it wasn't a 
stormy day, I didn't look through an old yearbook that 
morning. But when I got to my destination, there she 

Her name isn't important. She was one of 
many; so many, in fact, that I cannot remember each 
name exactly, only the individual taunts they used. Her 
face, however, will always remain somewhere in the 
back of my mind, laughing at me. We went to grade 
school together. 

I can remember the first year of school, when 
everyone was equal. No one wanted to leave Mommy 
each morning and we all used the blunt-edged scissors. 
By the second year, the cliques had formed. I couldn't 
help this one when she broke her arm because that one 
was her best friend now. When I lost my first pair of 
pointed scissors, so and so couldn't loan me hers because 
she had other friends, too. 

And so it went through the years. Best friends 
switched weekly and boyfriends were incorporated by the 


fourth grade, it was also in the fourth grade that my 
mother stopped talking to teachers and principals about 
the teasing I had to endure. It was time to fight my own 
battles. I almost flunked from the stress of it all. 

In the fifth grade, my defenses naturally 
developed. After years of hearing "just ignore them," I 
decided I wouldn't just ignore them. I would enjoy 
them. I began to answer their insults with thank you's 
and various other replies. I was thrilled to read in a John 
Lennon biography that he was cynical and sarcastic and I 
worked to bring those qualities into my own life. 

But that didn't stop me from crying in the girls' 
room, complaining to Mom, and checking my zipper 
each morning in the cloak room to prevent a potential 

Junior high school landed me my first boyfriend, 
who at the time was as out of place as I was, but still 
helped my status. Yet daily I heard how ugly I was, 
what strange clothes I wore, how bad I was at God's gift 
to pubescence-sports. Several times I was asked when 
I'd start growing a chest, when I'd wash or cut my hair, 
and when I'd be normal. The underlying question, of 
course, was when would I give in. When would I finally 
break down and cry in front of them or attempt a fight in 
which I'd surely be beaten into a bloody spot on the 
ground. When would 1 1st them win? 

My answer was never, and I managed to get 
through those years with a determination to always be 
different and a bad fucking attitude. 

Then today, suddenly, I'm thrown back into that 
world of lockers slammed on Nike-clad feet, ponytails 
pulled, and pain so heavy I thought I'd suffocate. 

She was a waitress at the restaurant, and I was 
alone. Fear throbbed inside of me, like my arms did 
after practicing hitting the volleyball for hours one 
night, in the hopes of avoiding tomorrow's gym class 
onslaught I stared at her every chance I had, but the 
slightest movement of her body made me look away, 
lest she catch me. I saw her look at me once, then turn 
her back. 

I wondered if she remembered me. Was I so 
unimportant that she'd forgotten the pleasure of hurting 
me? Could she remember her heavy fist with the same 
clarity I remembered the bruise it gave me? Could she 
still recite those rhyming insults that were so much of a 
game to her? 

I wondcred..did she remember me? 

I sure as hell remembered her. You don't forget 
the names, the insults, the jokes that made them 
superior to you. You don't forget being hit, kicked, spit 
upon, or even the smaller offenses of being chosen last 
for the volleyball game or having your books stolen 
from your locker. You don't forget the pain and the 
anger. You don't forget the faces. 

What you do is grow strong. You overcome 
these people through survival. You may go on to be a 
success or you may go on into the gutter, but you go on 
being you, and that's what lolls them. They tried to 
ruin you, and here you are now, the same damn person. 


That's when they realize they've failed. You've won. 

I ate my meal in silence. She was now 
working the register, and I would have to pay her. I 
doubted she would say anything rude, but I was deathly 
afraid she might be nice to me-"Hey! How as you? 
It's been so long!" She might try to be polite; try to 
hide the fact that I'm an enemy. 

I couldn't say anything to her. Mom told me 
never to start anything, but to defend myself when 
something happened. I usually didn't have to wait 
long. Back then, breakfast for those kids consisted of 
cold cereal and a kick in the ass. My. ass. 

I cautiously made my way to the cash register. 
My eyes darted everywhere-the empty table I left behind, 
the intricate pattern of my dirty shoelaces, the change in 
my hand-except her face. She asked the customer ahead 
of me how his meal was, thanked him as she took the 
money, then said, "Have a nice day." 

I handed over my bill in silence, and put the 
money on the counter, watching her hands work. I 
don't know if she looked at me, but her fingers seemed 
to move unusually quick and she fumbled while opening 
a roll of pennies. As she slammed the register drawer 
she said, 'Two dollars is your change." I said nothing, 
and she again turned her back and busied herself. 

When you're a survivor, you don't have to throw 
your life up in their faces. Sooner or later they'll notice 
it on their own. 

. ******** 

Jerald Janes 

The night that we met was one of those many 
ventures of mine into the Bohemian reclusion of that 
dreary jazz bar. I sat, clove cigarette in my right hand, 
vodka tonic in the left, and looked to understand that by 
the old cuckoo clock on the all, barely visible through 
all this smoke, the time had reached two-forty-five ajn. 

The evening had proved to be a social washout, 
so I took the opportunity to slip away before I felt 
committed to more fun with my drunken friends at the 
front of the bar. I liked these people only when very- 
lonely, very late at night, and very drunk. But tonight I 
only sought my own bed. 

One sip of the drink and I found myself 
stumbling for the evening's final time to the toilet. 

Once inside the rancid room, I heard a Bob 
Marley song begin to live its four-minute life on the 
juke box in the barroom. My inebriated mind made a 
quick change to wait until until the song ended to go 

I zipped up my zipper, pausing slowly so as not 
to inflict any undue injury to the center of my life's 
philosophy , and slipping on my own urine, emptied 
myself through the bathroom door directly to the floor of 


Particles, continued 

the bar. 

Looking up, my eyes attempted to focus on the 
form of this impossibly beautiful girl, sitting at my lost 
table, obviously relishing in my misfortune while her 
very loud laughter attracted the attention of my contem- 
poraries of vice still crouched at the front of the bar. 

Quickly trying to mend my injured pride, I 
laughed just as loudly to attract approval for my action 
instead of curiosity. 

I gained somewhat of an upright posture and 
made my ridiculous way back to my table. Reaching for 
my drink, I began my crusade for this girls' fancy. 

"Do you come here often, Baby?" I asked, tongue 
in cheek. She laughed and instantly interfered with my 
sarcasm as she replied, "This ]& the place to be seen, 
isn't it, Baby?" 

She turned to look at the clock then returned her 
eyes to me to say, "Sit down, I'll get us a drink." She 
lifted her form and not walking but somehow simply 
moving, made her way to the bar. I sat in disbelief at 
the situation as it was unfolding in front of me. 

An open invitation, completely unsolicited; may- 
be she was attracted to the way I can take a fall. I was 
not to question, but to make a swift decision to permit 
the evening to continue however she might wish. After 
all, it was getting late. 

To describe her as she. appeared, leaving the bar, 
would be futile. There was too much to say, so much 
could lost in the description. . 

She was in a word, bittersweet. It would be ap- 
propriate to say that I craved this girl painfully. Every 
curve, fold, and protrusion of her body glared at me 
through that painted-on black dress. 

Her legs were endless. Her abdomen, tight Her 
breasts, full and very ripe. Her neck longed to be 
mouthed. Her face was torn off of a statue of godliness. 
Her hair was pulled back in undefinable simplicity. Her 
back, inviting the stresses of copulation, was strong and 
graceful, like a sculpture to be admired. And her butt, 
ass, rear end, posterior, derriere, whatever you prefer, was 
the most rock solid mass of flesh I had ever seen in my 

Now it seemed as if the boys in front were very 
aware of her presence. Jeff took it upon himself to ad- 
vance to her side. I don't know what he said, but she 
wasn't receptive and turned away with our drinks. Jeff 
continued with his assault until she turned to say, "Run 
off now, little boy, your friends are waiting!" Jeff re- 
turned her fire by calling her a bitch and grabbing at the 

I didn't see her turn. All I saw was one of the 
drinks splashing on his face and then Jeff hitting the 
floor. I don't think she punched him. I didn't see much 
of anything; it was dark. I was still drunk. 

She made her way back to the table and placed a 
blue drink in front of me. 

"What is it?" I asked. 


"It's called a 'Blue Fucker,' drink it and then 
we'll go." All I could mumble was a surprised, "Okay." 

It took only two gulps to expire the concoction. 
She just sat there, staring at me. I was completely out 
of touch with my emotions. Whenever I get confused, I 
try to make sense by asking questions. So I attempted 
to ask her a question. 

"What is your name?" was the first thing that I 
blurted out. 

She quickly said, "Magda, now let's go!" 

I was out of my chair before I knew it, hand in 
tow by my newly found companion. 

"See you guys," I said as I passed by Gary on the 
floor, attempting to revive Jeff. Gary looked up in con- 
fusion and said, "Okay." 

All the way to her car, she continued to pull me 
on. I felt like objecting, but who was I to rock this 

She unlocked my door, opened it, and found my- 
self asking where we were going. 

"To another place," she replied, her eyes over- 
flowing with a reassuring tenderness. 

"Okay," I said and sat down inside the car. I 
leaned over to unlock her door the second my door 
slammed shut, but shouted out when I found her already 
crawling into her seat. 

"What's the matter?" Magda asked. 

"Nothing," I replied. "Nothing." 

She asked me to guide her to the freeway. I 
asked her if we were going to Chicago. "No," she re- 
plied as she reached for my hand. "We're going for a 

By now I was genuinely concerned. Did I take 
this "live for the moment" philosophy of mine a bit too 
far this time? But her warm hand around mine said not 
to worry. I don't know why—but at the time that was 
good enough. 

She steered her Delarean onto the ramp and began 
to gain speed. We entered the freeway at well over nine- 
ty miles per hour. She leveled the car's speed off at one- 
thirty, and turned to ask if I felt fine. "Fine, just great!" 
I sweated out in response as the night blurred by all 
around me. 

"I want to take you somewhere else, but I do 
need your consent first," she said. 

I found myself staring deep into her eyes. I now 
realized that she was moving in and out of traffic with- 
out removing her eyes from mine. 

WANT!" I screamed completely disorientated and pas- 

"Wonderful, wonderful! Oh, you are going to 
enjoy this, Wonderful!" she squealed out. 

She accelerated. The car began to shake wildly. 
This was it, she was going to kill us both in typical ar- 
tistic fashion. But then the shaking ceased. There were 
no more bumps, just her, the car, and I silently 


Particles, continued 

drifting along the freeway. I looked out the window to 
see the ground falling out from under me. I looked for- 
ward and made a quick mental search of the drugs I had 
ingested that evening. No, I had not taken any halluci- 

"Are you okay, Nicholas? Do you want to hear 
some music?" she asked. The last thing I can recall was 
her turning on the radio, me wondering how she knew 
my name, and then everything going black. 

I looked up to see her face in front of mine, then 
on my side, then behind me, then sort of on top—oh— I 
can't describe it! 

She was smiling everywhere around me. Any- 
where I looked, she was there. I found myself looking 
everywhere at once, but nowhere in particular. 

"Magda?" I cautiously asked. "What exactly is 
one drinking when one drinks a 'Blue Fucker'?" 

"Alcohol, trust me. I've put nothing in your 
drink. 1 just permitted you to sleep when we traveled 
here so as not to confuse you. What you feel and sense 
now is very real, not chemically induced. WELCOME 

"Magda?" I asked. 

"Yes?" she replied. 

'TALK TO ME!!!" 

She tried to calm me. "Nicholas, please don't be 
upset I want you to enjoy this. I'm not going to hurt 
you, you're safe in me. Please, I know you are a good 
person and that's why I brought you here. Roam about 
me, enjoy yourself. If you must-you can leave right 
now, but you know within yourself that you can trust 
me, so please do." 

In tide with the other events of the evening I 
once again gave in to her. I really did not fear anything. 
I just felt the occasional obligation to my pride to ques- 
tion her. 

"Nicholas, you are within me. I'd like to come 
inside of you. It's very nice with you inside me. I'd 
like for you to feel as I do." 

"Urn," I scrambled for words. "Will it hurt? No, 
no, ignore that question. What I meant to say is, how 
will it feel? Give me a ball-park figure." 

I actually could feel her mind acknowledge my 
question, understanding its intent, searching for an 
answer, then finally synthesizing the response. 

"It will feel like it felt when your were 
conceived," she said. 

"But Magda, I don't think I remember that far 
back," I said. 

"Oh," she replied. That's terrible! Oh, maybe 
not It could be to your advantage." 

"Okay, just do me, or whatever!" I said in utter 
suicidal hope. I felt her smile again. She moved closer 
to me from all around. She was illuminated by a 
brilliant white light I felt her heat on my skin. It 

wasn't painful, but it was uncomfortable. I felt terribly 
awkward. I heard my heart beating in my ears. No-it 
was her heart She was already inside of my head! 

After a moment I could see the veins in my arms 
tightening up like rivers of sunlight with her presence 
filling up my body. She was coming down through my 
chest I felt no emotion— just complete awareness of 
myself and her at the same time. 

Magda continued down through my legs until my 
toes rejoiced in the realization that they too existed. 

I felt my form begin to expand. I couldn't see 
any more for the light had become too intense. Magda 
said, "We're off!" and in an instant we were floating 
above the jazz bar back home. 

"Can we go in?" I asked Magda. 

"Of course," she replied. We descended through 
the roof and the two of us, or oneness of us, floated 
above our table. Nobody noticed. 

"Can they see us?" I asked. 

"Oh yes," she said, "but years ago they learned 
from others when they grew up how to ignore such 

"Magda, let's go!" I said. 

"Where to?" she asked. 

"ANYWHERE but here," I cried. 

"We could go to where I live," she suggested. 

I responded with a typical, "Okay." I became in- 
stantly aware of other people all around the two of us, 
like how I felt when I first was in Magda. But they 
didn't resemble people. Instead, they resembled "Casper 
the Friendly Ghost"-all lit up, the whole shot 

"So, is this your home planet Honey?" I asked. 

"Well, it's where I live, if that's what you 
mean," she laughed. "Actually, Nicholas, we're on your 
planet right now. You've never been able to see us be- 
fore thisr 

"Okay," I questioned. "Why me?" 

Magda said something that confused me for some 
time after that when she responded, "There is no reason. 
You are as I am. So we both are. This is only right 
Nothing can be wrong." 

After some time of floating about all of her 
friends, I said, "Magda, could we go all the way back? 
This is too much for me right now." 

"Aren't you enjoying this?" she asked. 

"Yes, oh it's as wonderful as you promised it to 
be. Really, Magda. But I'm confused and would feel 
better if I could get back." 

We floated for a bit above the lights. I felt su- 
perior. I felt alive. I felt aware. 

The two of us were alone again. I felt her mo- 
tion inside of me. "What was that?" I asked. 

"A tear," she said. 

"NO MAGDA!!!" I screamed as I tried to hold on 
to her energy, draining from inside of me. I soon found 
myself on my apartment floor, exhausted and naked. I 
crawled to my couch and lay in the sunlight of the mor- 



Particles, continued 

ning sun. 

The sun shone across the room and onto the floor 
with a brilliance I never quite noticed before. One single 
beam of sunlight punched into my world like no other 
had done before. 

Looking into the beam, I saw particles of dust 
floating about each other, some entering, some leaving 
the beam, but all at random about each other. I felt a 
tear welling up inside of my eye. 

The doorbell rang. Wrapping the afghan around 
my figure, I proceeded to the door. 

I turned the handle and opened the door. Outside 
my door I found a complete bath of light, consuming 
everything about Out of the light walked the girl that I 
craved so last night at the bar. 

DECISION," Magda said with that encompassing smile. 

I took Magda by the hand and led her out the 
door, the two of us entering the light. 


Elise Wylie Boucher 


John Schmitz 


Five to nine show and tell. 

Spilling guts and moping, 

Groping for the right words. 

You should be sorry! 

Get away. Can't you read my eyes? 

DON'T TOUCH me, but especially him. 

"Let us pray" for whom did you say? 

Step outside from the stench of rotten webs. 
Sick serpent tongues and cracked lips, 
sprawl out on the concrete bench. 
The second ring of a morbid circus. 
They tell each other how hard I'm taking it 

How 'bout a peanut? I'll do a dance for a peanut 
One lousy marshmallow and me and my stiff twin will 

Out back, 
The top pops 

And a body drops to the horror of its bearers. 
A well-dressed, caked-up, rubber grotesque thing- 
Misshapen heap in a puddle of rainwater and worms. 
Looks like him, but it ain't him- 
A truth only I have the privilege of seeing. 
In the midst of fainting and shock, 
I say, "Bury it!" It stinks. I'm leaving. 
This place doesn't deserve my mourning, 
And neither does that thing. 

Light is fading 

I am walking up the hill 

Towards the darkening horizon 

A silhouette appears 
Figure of a man 
Proud against the sky 
Young strong tall-you 

Clouds rushing in the dying blue 
Faster than any wind 
But you stand still 

I fall to my knees 
Cry your name 
A supplication 

My hand extends 

My blood becomes precious stones 
As it touches the ground 
More valuable than diamonds 

You stand still 

Not even wanting the treasure 
I die to give you 


Amy Jo 


from the city of gold, across this land 
I'm searching for myself 
changes pass by, while I sleep 
when the sun crawls across the sky 
simply to vanish at the end of day 
it only makes me wonder why— 
the might stares back at me 

while the wolf cries to the moon 
I dream of a beginning to this end 
and it's funny how it seems 
I'm drifting away from the world.